M&S unveils 'radical' new brand campaign created by Grey London

Marks & Spencer is urging the nation to "spend it well" in a new brand campaign that marks a "radical departure" from its previous marketing.

The work is the first since the retailer ended its 16-year relationship with Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R after a closed WPP-agency pitch last year that resulted in Grey London’s appointment to the £60m account in August.

The retailer’s new tagline "spend it well" is designed to position M&S as an enabler of a life well-lived.

It is the first time that M&S has united both its food and clothing divisions under a single tagline, which will be used across all digital channels, in-store, and all marketing communications in the future, including M&S Bank and its rewards club, Sparks.

"Spend it well" is based on the insight that, in a world of abundance, people increasingly seek out what is important: quality experiences, people and things that make life special.  

"Our ‘Spend it well’ campaign is a radical departure from where we’ve been previously," said M&S’ executive director of customer, marketing, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne. "It speaks to deep truths about our customers – based on a huge amount of research and listening – and celebrates their lives in a way which is new and innovative for the brand.

"To remain relevant and attract new customers, we need to get people thinking differently about M&S and recapture our position as a pioneer in culture. That’s why the energy, swagger and spirit of ‘Spend it well’ is so important – it’s about empowering our customers to say no to the ordinary, so they can say yes to the best." 

He added: "We’re committed to helping our customers embrace this attitude by creating and curating the world’s finest, freshest and most inspiring food, by understanding what clothing fits and flatters today’s modern woman, and by ensuring this philosophy is applied across the entire customer experience."

A 60-second TV brand ad launches today, breaking on social media and mobile channels first, including on Twitter and Facebook, and will run throughout ITV's Good Morning Britain from 6am – 8.30am. It will also be supported by a Daily Mail homepage takeover.

The ad is a series of uplifting vignettes urging viewers to make the most of life, by burning the nice candles, wearing your best coat, breaking out the biscuits, saying no to bad food and never settling for uncomfortable knickers. It also urges viewers to say no to regrets and comparing yourself to others.

The spot was directed by François Rousselet through Riff Raff Films, narrated by British actor Helen McCrory and set against a new arrangement of David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel. Grey’s creative directors Danielle Noël and Thom Whitaker worked on the campaign. Mindshare is the media agency.

Alongside the TV ad will run an integrated campaign comprising social, digital, press, outdoor, radio and in-store activation.

A further new TV ad for food will go live on 11 May, with specific spots for M&S’ other key areas including clothing, home, banking and Sparks following later in the year.

Grey London’s chief creative officer Vicki Maguire said: "M&S is a brand that touches almost all of the population – over 60 million pairs of women’s knickers are sold every year. 

"‘Spend it well’ is an attitude they share with their customer – and I should know. I’ve been their biggest fan and biggest critic for years. It’s a shared attitude that strikes a chord whether you’re 18 or 80.

"M&S has taken this to heart, across products, services, innovation, marketing and culture. For me, it’s the excuse I need to wear the nice knickers or crack open the good wine – I’m a firm believer in life’s short, so spend it well."

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